Review: Seth Avett & Jessica Lea Mayfield Sing Elliott Smith (Ramseur)

Seth Avett JL MayfieldIn his short time on this earth, Elliott Smith was a songwriter to be reckoned with, the embodiment of a truly tortured soul with the songs to match. This release sees Seth Avett (of The Avett Brothers) teaming up with singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield to pay tribute to Smith via a dozen of songs taken from all points of his career. Given the introspective nature of Smith’s material, Avett and Mayfield are well suited to take on the challenge of interpreting these songs, as they cautiously allow the melancholic undertones of “Between The Bars” and “Ballad of Big Nothing” to remain while inadvertently lending optimism to the material via their complementary vocals.